Sunday, June 18, 2006

30th San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, aka Frameline 30: Day 2

ehhhhhn! I'm getting real mixed 'results' this year and made a couple poor choices, so I hear. But first, the annual 'Fun in Boys Shorts/Fun in Girls Shorts' double-feature programs of 'lighter' short subjects. This year there were 9 for the boys and 8 for the girls. Now, for those of you 'veteran readers' of past festivals, particularly the SFLGIFF, you know that this is the first of what can be NUMEROUS shorts programs and that it can get... tedious. Well, just bear with me! There are two short documentaries and three features following this recap of today's shorts.

The Boys Shorts, in preferential order:
"GUESS WHO I SAW TODAY" (dir Abe Sylvia 2006 USA 4 min video) was a stunningly staged 'ballet' to the old standard "Guess Who I Saw Today", set as a wife retelling her witnessing of her husband's affair. Shot in black and white and in a single shot, the camera and performers glided effortlessly across the screen for those 4 short minutes! The audience actually erupted into applause in the middle! I. Loved. This. And Must HAVE IT!!

"AVAILABLE MEN" (dir David Dean Bottrell 2005 USA 15 min video) featured a quartet of men (Jack Plotnick, amongst them!!) in a mixed up blind date/business meeting that was so sparsely, yet nearly brilliantly written that I was actual gasped a couple of times at the wit and the ability to actually play the gag for the entire length of the short without a single misstep! I must have THIS one, too!!

"LATCH KEY" (dir Garth Bardsley 2005 USA 12 min video) this was another well paced farce, featuring a pair of brothers who are trying to shag their respective dates before their mom gets home. Emotional chaos ensues as all parties end up meeting at one point. I needn't have this one, nor the following shorts in this collection.

"SPACEBOY" (dir Keith Dando 2005 UK 7 min video) was just this side of cute, though completely contrived. (An astronaut crash lands in England?!) But the astronaut was a cutie and the wit was played acceptably dryly.

"HUSTLER WP" (dir Craig Cobb 2006 USA 19 min video) this was pretty uneven as it featured a naive gay neo-Nazi skinhead and his best friend, who happens to be black. Painful? No, but not really much to enjoy here.

"SUMMER" (dir Hong Khaou 2006 UK 9 min 35mm) and "STRAIGHT BOYS" (dir Dave O'Brien 2006 USA 14 min 35mm) were basically the same stories of gay guys with crushes on their best straight friend, except one was in Great Britain and the other was in aMidwestt college. Both shorts end up with them wrestling it out. Once would have been enough.

The last two, "STR8 FOR A MINUTE" (dir Michael Lucid 2005 USA 1 min video) and "HELLO, THANKS" (dir Andy Blubaugh 2005 USA 8 min video), I have seen before. I don't know where or when, though. Regardless, I never intended to see them again.

The Girls' Shorts, in preferential order:

"TODAY'S SPECIALS" (dir Gianni Gatti 2005 Italy 7 min 35mm) was a trippy an surreal tale of a transgender woman faking a pregnancy as she smuggles a watermelon out of a store! You had to see it!

"BLINDFOLDED" (dir Isabel Coll 2005 Spain 2 min video) a mother and daughter have a... surprise(!) meeting! hee hee hee...

"FAMILY REUNION" (dir Isold Uggadottir 2006 USA/Iceland 25 min video) A daughter has a surprise at a family reunion, where she THINKS it's all about her! The twist was worth the nearly half hour!

"DO THE MATH" (dir Mary Guzman 2006 USA 4 min 35mm) A poetry slam is given a visual rendering here by audience favorite, Mary Guzman. Mind you, she is a competent director, however it is her AVID FOLLOWING that has awarded her the "Audience Prize" in the short subject category before, and... well... There is better! However, her producer is one HUNK of a guy!

"COSA BELLA" (dir Fiona Mackenzie 2005 USA 16 min video) Lesbian and bisexual woman angst. Yawn.
"DRIVE ME CRAZY" (dir Kim Wyns 2004 Belgium 5 min 35mm) I sort of didn't quite get this one. So, I'm not even going to try to describe it.
"GILLERY'S LITTLE SECRET" (dir T.M. Scorzafava 2005 USA 35 min video) Even though her producer was there in all his Southern California Blond Metrosexual Hunkiness, I still took a nap.

I dashed over to the Roxie and Victoria for some documentaries:

"101 Must See Movies for Gay Men" (Alonso Duralde, curator and lecturer) This really was just a stop on the book tour for Alonso Duralde, who was promoting his book of the same title. I was hoping for more than film clips illustrating the chapters of his book. Plus, I own almost all of them, anyway. Blech. I SHOULD have stayed at the Castro for "The Believers" which apparently had the audience in tears and a 10 minute standing ovation!! But more on that later this week, I hope...

"CAMP MICHAEL JACKSON" (dirs Q. Allan Brocka & Glenn Gaylord 2005 USA 45 min video) was a profile of the fans camped outside of the Santa Maria courthouse during the Michael Jackson trial. Except for the fairly effeminate behavior of some of the guys, and the fact that Bailey and Barbarto, aka World of Wonder, produced this, there was no reason for it to be in this festival.

"FOR THE LOVE OF DOLLY" (dir Tai Uhlmann 2006 USA 56 min video) profiled several fans, er, no, FANATICS of Dolly Parton. Now, I didn't realize, though I should have, that Ms. Parton would attract a lesbian fan base. However, the Victoria theater was pretty packed with the darlings, who screamed and squealed throughout the documentary. Also, when Dolly Parton's "life time friend and assistant" Judy Ogle came on screen, the crowd SCREAMED! This leads me to believe that Ms. Parton and Ms. Ogle are... QUITE CLOSE?! Anyway, the pair of gay guys who actually OWN some of Parton's gowns were a hoot!

Back to the Castro for a double feature:

"BOY CULTURE" (dir Q. Allan Brocka 2006 USA 87 min) is an adaptation of a novel of the same name and notably features another stylish performance by Patrick Bauchau. Brocka previously directed "Eating Out" which I have not seen, yet the crowd was really prep'ed for a repeat of that successful comedy, apparently. "Boy Culture" has its comic moments, however I found it to be a bit overly bitter at points. (Yes, it's true!) We follow a male prostitute as he learns to love. Basically. And it features a nearly feature-length narration, which is a real pet peave of mine! This is CINEMA! SHOW me, don't TELL me! Anyway, the cast is quite attractive and the dialogue is snappy enough that it kept my attention. However, it was NOT "one of the most creative films I've seen in years" as one of the Q&A'ers stated. People need to get out more.

Speaking of 'getting out' that is exactly what I did in the middle of:
"OPENCAM" (dir Robert Gaston 2005 USA 105 min video). The programmers seem to insist on including a sexual thriller every year. And every year, it sucks. Our 'hero' was hunky enough, physically, yet had a voice higher and more nasal than MINE! His tricks on a nude cam site are turning up dead. Some sort of investigation ensues. Oh, and masturbation scenes ensue, too. The pacing was r i d i c u l o u s l y S L O W!! The projector bulb burnt out at the half way point, which gave me, and a dozen others, the perfect excuse to get up and leave.

Tomorrow: The Duchess Diane's short! and Kiki and Herb: Reloaded!!


Maxxxxx said...

re Fun in Boys/Girls Shorts: "Bwahahaha!"
re 101 Must See Movies for Gay Men: "Watch TV!"
re Camp Michael Jackson/For the Love of Dolly: "Such a pretty bird!"
re Boy Culture: "Sweet, sweet eye juice!"
re OpenCam: "Is it bedtime?"

Anonymous said...

Kilts. Loooooots of kilts.

I'm just sayin'. :)